TR: Little Bear (15 April 2010)

(Last Updated On: April 18, 2010)

After hitting Crestone Needle on Sunday, I felt a momentum to keep going. A cold that was infesting my body combined with Mother Nature didn’t seem to want to cooperate with me. A good weather window was opening up on Wednesday and Thursday. But, the infection that had hit my lungs didn’t seem want to subside. Despite my less-than-stellar condition, we decided to give Little Bear a go. I could think of worse ways to spend Tax Day.

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On top of Little Bear with Blanca behind. (Photo courtesy of Pam Rice)

Frank and I met up with Pam Rice at the Como Lake trailhead. View of Little Bear from the valley floor.
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Photo courtesy of Ben Conners

From there, we drove up as far as we felt comfortable, with darkness quickly falling upon us. We didn’t get very far- only about 8800′. We promptly went to bed, knowing an early wake-up would be necessary. We left the cars well before dawn, at 3:30 in the morning.
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At approximately 10,000 feet, the road was covered with enough snow to break out the skins and skis. We reached treeline shortly after dawn. A look at the valley 4000 feet below.
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Little Bear, seen from Como Lake.
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We booted up the couloir to the notch on Little Bear’s ridge.
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Frank led the way.
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We were at the top of the notch by 8:15.
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Photo courtesy of Pam Rice

View of Little Bear from the notch. The hourglass is the left line coming down from the peak.
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Photo courtesy of Ben Conners

Frank and Pam traversing from the notch.
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While resting along the traverse, a group of two other skiers caught up from behind- Ben and Matt. They tagged along with us for the rest of the day. We began up the hourglass together.
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Photo courtesy of Matt Kamper

Frank and Matt booting up the hourglass couloir.
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Photo courtesy of Pam Rice

Pam and I approaching the summit.
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It was a beautiful windless bluebird day on the summit. Pam, me, and Frank.
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Photo courtesy of Matt Kamper

A view of Blanca.
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Looking at the Crestones from the summit.
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After about a half an hour on the summit we finally decided to get skiing, despite the fact that conditions hadn’t completely softened yet.
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Matt making his way from the summit.
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Frank.
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Matt.
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Photo courtesy of Pam Rice

Ben.
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Photo courtesy of Pam Rice

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Pam.
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Me.
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Photo courtesy of Pam Rice

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Photo courtesy of Matt Kamper

From the bottom of the hourglass we began our traverse over to Baby Thunder.
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Photo courtesy of Ben Conners

We climbed up to the Baby Thunder notch.
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Photo courtesy of Ben Conners

The entrance looked thin…
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and also required a downclimb on loose rock.
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Photo courtesy of Pam Rice

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Photo courtesy of Pam Rice

Me skiing between the downclimb and the entrance to Baby Thunder.
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Photo courtesy of Ben Conners

Frank getting ready to ski.
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Pam at the top of the entrance.
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Baby Thunder was the best skiing of the day. Me.
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Photo courtesy of Ben Conners

Frank.
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Photo courtesy of Ben Conners

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Pam.
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Matt and Ben with Ellingwood and Blanca behind.
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We were able to ski most of the way down the road, only taking our skis off a few times before reaching 10,000′. From there, we hiked dry road the rest of the way to the car.
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I could not have asked for a better day to ski a fourteener, except for the gunk that was still collecting in my nose and chest. Thanks to Pam and Frank for helping me get another one done. And it was great to meet Matt and Ben. Number 47 is done. 7 more fourteeners to go!

Brittany Walker Konsella

Aside from skiing, biking, and all outdoorsy things,Brittany Walker Konsella also loves smiles and chocolate 🙂 Even though she excels at higher level math and chemistry, she still confuses left from right. Find out more about Brittany!

Latest posts by Brittany Walker Konsella (see all)

Brittany Walker Konsella

Aside from skiing, biking, and all outdoorsy things, Brittany Walker Konsella also loves smiles and chocolate :) Even though she excels at higher level math and chemistry, she still confuses left from right. Find out more about Brittany!

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